Leaders are made not born and if you want to become a truly great leader then you will have to work harder than just about everyone else to get there. That being said, building your leadership ability is not an impossible task; in fact, all it takes is determination and focus. With that in mind here are four ways to transform yourself into a great leader.
Learn How To Listen
When many people think of a leader they think of someone pointing their finger and shouting out orders; however, being a boss doesn’t make you a leader. While there are times when leaders might need to “take charge”, the reality is that most of the time is spent motivating others and this requires amazing listening skills.
The first step in learning how to listen is to accept that everyone has something to offer. This can be hard, as a leader, you are probably a Type A personality and as such you are brimming with confidence and enthusiasm. However, great leaders have the ability to channel this enthusiasm into the people around them and this starts with listening to them.
From there you want to treat every interaction with team members, customers, and even suppliers as an opportunity to discover great ideas. In the process, you will be granted insight into the what drives the people around you to new heights, which is the ultimate measure of any leader.
Learn How To Focus
As a leader you will be bombarded with issues, these can range from the mundane to the challenging. However, if you want to climb to the top of the mountain, you will need to know how to triage everything that is coming at you.
It’s almost like you need to be like Tom Brady. Sure, the superstar quarterback is in his 40’s but he can read the game faster than just about anyone in the business and this is what allows him to play at the highest level while many of his peers have long since left the field.
While you might not be headed for the Hall of Fame after you retire, one way to learn how to focus is to get rid of distractions – especially in the day-to-day operation of your business. This means going back to the core of what you do and then outsourcing the rest.
Doing so will allow you and your team to focus on your customers while you rely on outsourced accounting services to keep your books in order. As such, your attention can be thrown into what drives your business forward instead of reviewing the little slips of paper that show where you’ve been. Sure, having a good read on your accounts is important but great leaders know they don’t need to spend all their time on it.
Learn How To Control Your Ego
Everyone likes to take credit when things go well but to transform yourself into a great leader you must learn how to control your ego. Remember success is not measured in terms of what you have done, rather it is about what your team has done. This is an important lesson which every great leader has learned – check your ego and you will go farther.
Beyond this, a great leader understands that no job or task is beneath them. Sure, you don’t want to spend all your time performing menial tasks but when the chips are down, and your team needs the help it might be up to you to take on a task which is below your pay grade.
When it comes to checking your ego, one trick is to focus on the strengths of your team and value that every one of them can bring to what you are doing. This will keep from believing your own press while recognizing the role that everyone plays in your success.
Learn How To Be Uncomfortable
It is easy to sit back in your comfort zone and coast, but the reality is that you are not pushing yourself, or your team, to new levels of greatness – something which is the hallmark of a great leader. As such, you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Granted, this won’t happen overnight but by gradually stepping out of your comfort zone you will expand your experience and your ability to lead others.
Remember, leaders are made not born and if you want to be a great leader, then you need to drive yourself to be better than everyone else. There are no shortcuts when it comes to transforming yourself into a great leader but with these four tips, you will be well on your way.